Did you know that over three million Americans and more than 65 million people across the world suffer from the disorder known as epilepsy? Simply put, epilepsy is a condition where patients deal with electrical brain “storms,” which are commonly referred to as seizures.
When someone experiences a seizure, they may be unaware of the world around them. They may moan, drool, or convulse, and their eyes may roll back into their heads. Seizures are both traumatic to experience and to witness. Those without prior exposure to epilepsy may not really understand what is happening and may respond with fear and confusion. As such, many people that are living with epilepsy have found themselves on the receiving end of employment, housing, and other forms of discrimination.
Not to mention, it can be difficult to maintain employment in general when the nature of the disorder is so unpredictable and it’s manifestation can actually be a threat to occupational safety. Fielding such concerns everyday can lead to self-imposed social isolation that can manifest into long term depression.
That said, taking the time to understand your disorder as well as your SSDI eligibility and options can be beneficial.
Do You or a Loved One Live With Epilepsy?
Once you see a specialist, such as a neurologist, and you are accurately diagnosed, you should take especially good care of yourself. Fortunately, epilepsy can be managed well by obtaining the proper treatment, making substantial lifestyle changes, and by taking the proper safety precautions. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
#1. Never Skip your Medication
There are several fine medications on the market to treat epilepsy, including Tegretol, Depakote, and Lithium. The key to them working consistently is to avoid missing even one dose. Always be sure to have your medicine with you when you travel, and plan for needed refills weeks in advance, so you will never go without treatment.
#2. Apply for Social Security Benefits
Epileptic seizures can be minor, but some can be completely life-altering. If you suffer from major seizures, such as the tonic clonic variety, you know they can become debilitating and overwhelming. They may impair you to the point that you are unable to work or live the life that you have been accustomed to. As such, it may be best to apply for SSDI benefits so you can maintain your income.
#3. Start Healthy Habits
There are several items that contribute to our overall health that those dealing with epilepsy cannot afford to take for granted.
For one, they need a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night to rest and recharge their brains. They also need to drink plenty of water because dehydration can lead to seizures. That said, alcohol consumption (as well as illicit drug use) is heavily discouraged. This is not only because of the underlying illness, but it also does not mix well with most prescribed medications for such issues.
A great way to get a clear understanding of your disorder and your particular triggers is to document all seizure activity in a journal or diary. This will not only be helpful to you, but it can provide your doctor with a clearer picture of your illness.
#4. Keep Yourself Safe
You should never attempt any activity that may all of a sudden become dangerous if you were to unexpectedly have a seizure. For example, some folks must avoid flashing lights at all costs because they are seizure-inducing. Another example would be swimming alone. If a seizure occurs, the patient may accidentally drown.
Here are other activities to avoid or at least perform in the presence of others:
- Driving a Car
- This is state law-dependent, but usually applies to licensed drivers that have had a seizure in the last six months to one year.
- Climbing Ladders
- This applies to being anywhere above a certain height.
- Bathing Children
- This is more geared towards parents or caregivers of babies or toddlers that are unable to pull themselves to an upright position if they were to fall.
- If you feel that your safety may be at risk if you continue to work in a given profession, it may be time to quit or retire. Applying for benefits from Social Security will allow you a fixed income to maintain your lifestyle.
- Open flames, gas, and even electric burners and ovens are fire hazards if left on and unmonitored.
We Help Epileptics Collect Social Security Disability Benefits
As with almost any disability claim, it is possible that your initial claim will be denied, and this can be frustrating. Fortunately, with the aid and encouragement of a knowledgeable Social Security disability attorney, you will have a fighting chance to get the compensation you deserve, and a clearer understanding of the labyrinth of forms and paperwork required to apply for benefits.
Contact Our Social Security Disability Law Firm Today
It doesn’t have to be Epilepsy Awareness Month to spread knowledge about the disorder and learn more about your SSDI options. As a matter of fact, if you suffer from any injury or mental or physical illness that prevents you from working in Virginia, Maryland, or Washington DC, contact us here for a free consultation with a Social Security disability attorney. Our number is 703-241-2625 or you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.